����������� Ethnobotanical Leaflets 10: 342-349. 2006.

 

 

Piscicidal Plants of Nepal: Checklist, Ethnobotanical Uses and Indigenous Practices

 

Ananda R. Joshi* and Kunjani Joshi**

 

*Former Director General, SACEP, Colombo, Sri Lanka

**Harvard University Herbaria, USA

Email: ajoshi@gmail.com, kunjanijoshi@gmail.com

 

Issued 22 December 2006

 

Introduction

�� ����������� Fish catching with the aid of plants and their parts is an ancient practice. The rural communities of Nepal collect piscicidal plants and their parts from various habitats, such as forest, scrub, grassland, cultivated fields, wetlands and riverbanks and use them following traditional methods and practices to stupefy fish. However, at present, the piscicidal plants and their ethenobotanical information are being eroded as a result of haphazard exploitation of resources, habitat destruction and land use change (Joshi and Joshi, 2005). The loss of traditional knowledge within cultures undergoing rapid change is just as irreversiable as the loss of species (Joshi and Joshi, 2004). Hence, priority should be given to document the useful plants and their uses along with indigenous knowledge, methods and practices. Though some ethnobotanical initiatives related to the piscicidal plants have already taken (Bhandary and Shrestha, 1982; Joshi and Joshi, 2005a; Karki and Rai, 1982; Regmi and Karna, 1989; Manandhar, 1989), less priority has been given to the systematic and comprehensive enumeration of these species and their conservation in an integrated manner. Therefore, an attempt has been made to document and enumerate the piscicidal plants with exising traditional uses and practices.

 

Study Areas and Methods

 

������������� The ethnobotanical information were collected from the villages of the various districts of Nepal. The complex geomorphology, climatic variations and other physical characteristics make these villages rich in diverse habitats with useful species including the piscicidal plants. These areas are inhabited by different ethnic tribes, who have rich knowledge on ethnobotanical information. Ethnobotanical information was collected using various techniques and also verified with secondary sources.

 

Enumeration of Species

 

������������� The plant species, which are reported to have piscicidal effects, are enumerated in Table 1. Seventy-nine piscicidal plants belonging to 35 families are arranged alphabetically by genus�species, family followed by local names, and parts of the plant used. Among the documented species, the family Fabaceae was most frequently represented with a total of 11 species, followed by Polygonaceae 7, Euphorbiaceae 6, Ateraceae 5 and others with less than 5 species.

 

Indigenous Knowledge and Practices

 

���������� The local people have excellent knowledge of species identification, usefulness of the plants and traditional practices. Though the main occupation of villagers of the study areas is agriculture, fishing is an alternative source of income. They collect fish for food and also for sale in nearby markets. Maghi tribes are mainly involved in fishing occupation and used to utilize all parts or a certain part of the plant as fish poison. Sometimes for catching fish from rivers, the flow of water is checked either by erecting a temporary wall of mud and stones or by diverting the water current into small temporary ponds. The plant or a plant part is crushed and thrown into the water. The fish poison makes the fish float in a stupefied state and come to the surface of water from where they are easily captured.

����������� According to the information of the local people, some species are preferred for fish poison and frequently used. These species are Agave cantala, Buddleja asiatica, Buddleja paniculata, Engelhardia spicata, Euphorbia royleana, Juglans regia, Persicaria hydropiper, and Sapium insigne.

Table 1. Piscicidal plants of Nepal.

Botanical name/ Family

Nepali

name

Parts of

the plant

used

References

Acacia pennata (L.) Willd.

(Fabaceae)

Aradi,

Arare

Bark, Fruit,

Stem

Ghimere et. al. (2000); Joshi & Joshi (2005a);

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

 

Agave cantala Roxb. ex Salm.-Dyck

(Agavaceae)

Ketuke,

Nalu

Whole plant,

Leaf

Bhandary & Shrestha (1982, 1999); Joshi

& Joshi (2005a); Karki & Rai (1982);

Manandhar (1989, 2002); Regmi & Karma (1989)

Aisandra butyracea (Roxb.) Baehni

(Sapotacae)

Chyuri

Bark, Oilcake

Manandhar (1989)

Albizia chinensis (Osbeck) Merr.

(Fabaceae)

Kalo Siris,

Siris

Bark

Joshi & Joshi (2005a)

Albizia lucidior (Steud.) I. Nielson ex Hara

(Fabaceae)

Padake,

Tapre siris

Bark

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Anagallis arvensis L.

(Primulaceae)

Armale,

Kalo gojale

Whole plant

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Anemone vitifolia Buch.-Ham. ex DC.

(Ranunculaceae)

Dhanero,

Madilo

Whole plant

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Annona squamata L.

(Annonaceae)�����������

Saripha,

Banjhi

Leaf

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Artemisia dubia Wall. ex Besser

(Asteraceae)

Tite pati,

Nagadamani

Leaf, Young

shoot

Joshi & Joshi (2005a);

Siwakoti & Siwakoti (2003)

Artemisia indica Willd.

(Asteraceae)

Gandhe jhar,

Titepati

Leaf

Joshi & Joshi (2005a)

 

Berberis aristata DC.

(Berberidaceae)

Chutro

Bark

Joshi & Joshi (2005a)

 

Buddleja asiatica Lour.

(Loganaceae)

Bhimsenpati,

Sano phultis

Leaf

Bhadari & shrestha (1982, 1999); Joshi (1991);

Joshi & Joshi (2005a & b); Joshi (1991);

Karki & Rai (1982); Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Buddleja paniculata Wall.

(Loganaceae)

Narayanpati,

Phultis

Leaf

Bhadari & Shrestha (1982, 1999);

Joshi & Joshi (2005a & b); Karki & Rai

( 1982); Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Careya arborea Roxb.

(Lecythidaceae)

Kumbhi,

Bhorle

Bark, Leaf,

Root

Ghimere et. al. (2000); Joshi & Joshi (2005a);

Manandhar (2002)

Casearia elliptica Willd.

(Flacoutiaceae)

Thulo dedri

Fruit

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Casearia graveolens Dalz.

(Flacourtiaceae)

Sano dendri

Bark, Leaf,

Fruit

Joshi & Joshi (2005);

Manandhar (1989)

Cassia fistula L.

(Fabaceae)

Rajbriksya

Seed

Ghimere et. al. (2000); Joshi (1988);

Joshi & Joshi (2005a)

Coriaria nepalensis Wall.

(Coriariaceae)

Bhojinsi�

Machino

Leaf

Joshi & Joshi (2005b)

Croton roxburghii N.P. Balakr.

(Euphorbiaceae)

Aule

Seed oil

Manandhar (2002)

Cyathula tomentosa (Roth.) Moq.

(Amaranthaceae)

Aulo ghans,

Aankhle kuro

Root

Joshi & Joshi (2005a); Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Dalbergia stipulacea Roxb.

(Fabaceae)

Tatibari

Root

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Daphne bholua Buch.-Ham. Ex D. Don.

(Thymelaeaceae)

Kagat pate

Bark, Leaf

Joshi (1988); Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Datura metel L.

(Solanaceae)

Kalo dhaturo

Leaf

Joshi & Joshi (2005a)

Desmodium laxiflorum DC.

(Fabaceae)

Tangri

Stem

Mander and Chaudhary

Desmodium oojeinense (Roxb. ) H. Ohashi

(Fabaceae)

Sadhan,

Panjan,

Bark

Ghimere et. al. (2000); Manandhar (2002)

 

Diploknema butyracea (Roxb.) H.J. Lam.

(Sapotaceae)

Chyuri

Bark, Oil cake

Manandhar (2002)

Dioscorea deltoidea Wall.

(Dioscoreaceae)

Bhyakur

Tuber, Leaf

Joshi & Joshi (2005a); Karki & Rai (1982);

Manandhar (1989)

Duabanga grandiflora (Roxb. ex DC.) Walp.

(Sonneratiaceae)

Madame,

Lampate

Bark

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Edgeworthia gardneri (Wall.) Meisn.

(Thymelaeaceae)

Argeli,

Arkalepat

Bark, Leaf

Joshi & Joshi (2005a & b);

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Engelhardia spicata Lesch. ex Blume

(Juglandaceae)

Mauwa

Young leaf

 

Chaudhary et.al (2002); Joshi (1988); Joshi &

Joshi (2005a); Joshi (1991); Manandhar (1989)

Entada phaseoloides (L) Merr.

(Fabaceae)

Rukh pangra

Seed

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Eupatorium odoratum L.

(Asteraceae)

Banmara

Whole plant

Joshi & Joshi (2005a)

Euphorbia royleana Boiss

(Euphorbiaceae)

Siudri

Whole plant

(latex)

Bhandary & Shrestha (1982, 1999);

Joshi & Joshi (2005a); Karki & Rai (1982);

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Euphorbia tirucalli L.

(Euphorbiaceae)

Thuar

Whole plant

Regmi (1982); Regmi & Karna (1989)

Euodia fraxinifolia (D. Don) Hook. f.

(Rutaceae)

Bokumba,

Kunukape

Bark, Fruit,

Seed

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Gynocardia odorata R. Br.

(Flacourtiaceae)

Gandare,

Gantay

Fruit, Bark

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Hedyotis scandens Roxb.

(Rubiaceae)

Aankhle jhar,

Boki lahara

Whole Plant

Manandhar (1989)

Holarrhena pubescens (Buch.-Ham.)

Wall. ex G. Don.

(Apocynaceae)

Kurchi,

Indrajau

Stem, Leaf

Joshi & Joshi (2005a)

Hydrocotyle himalaica P.K. Mukharjee

(Umbelliferae)

Setotapre

Whole plant

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Jatropha curcas L.

(Euphorbiaceae)

Sajiwa,

Arin

Whole plant

(latex)

Joshi & Joshi (2005a)

Juglans regia L.

(Juglandaceae)

Okhar

Immature fruit

Bhandary & Shrestha (1999); Chaudhary et al.

(2002); Chhetri & Joshi (2002); Joshi & Joshi

(2005a); Karki & Rai (1982); Manandhar

(1989, 2002); Regmi (1982); Regmi & Karna

(1989);

Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers.

(Lauraceae)

Siltimur

Bark, Leaf,

Fruit

Siwakoti & Siwakoti (2003)

Lyonia ovalifolia (Wall.) Drude

(Ericaceae)

Angeri

 

Young leaf

Chhetri & Joshi (2002); Joshi (1988);

Joshi & Joshi (2005a)

Madhuca longifolia (Koeing) Macbride

(Sapotaceae)

Mahuwa

Bark, Oil cake

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Maesa argentea (Wall.) A. DC.

(Myrsinaceae)

Bhogate

Leaf

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Maesa chisia Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don.

(Myrsinaceae)

Bilaune,

Thinke

Root, Bark,

Leaf

Joshi & Joshi (2005a);

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Maesa macrophylla (Wall) A. DC

(Myrsinaceae)

Paha phal,

Bhogate

Leaf

Bhandary & Shrestha (1982, 1999); Joshi & Joshi

(2005a); Karki & Rai (1982); Manandhar

(1989, 2002)

Melia azedarach L.

(Meliaceae)

Bakaino

 

Fruit

Joshi & Joshi (2005a)

Meliosma dillenifolia (Wall. ex Wight &

Arn.)) Walp.

(Sabiaceae)

Kumbhi

Root

Dangol and Gurung (1999)

Millettia extensa (Benth.) Baker

(Fabaceae)

Gaujo

Dry Bark powder,

Root

Ghimere et. al. (2000); Joshi & Joshi (2005a);

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Millettia fruticosa (DC) Benth ex Baker

(Fabaceae)

Tantari

Bark, Leaf

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Millettia pinnata (L.) Panigrahi

(Fabaceae)

Kersingi,

Sadam

Leaf, Seed

Manandhar (2002)

Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex

D. Don.

(Myricaceae)

Kaphal

Bark

Joshi (1988); Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Osbeckia stellata Buch-Ham. ex D. Don.

(Melastomataceae)

Angeri,

Rato chulsi

Whole plant

 

Chhetri & Joshi (2002); Joshi (1988)

Persicaria barbata (L.) Hara

(Polygonaceae)

Khursani jhar,

Thulo pirya

Whole plant,

Leaf

Dangol (2000-2001); Ghimere et. al. (2000);

Joshi & Joshi (2005a); Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Persicaria chinensis (L.) H. Gross

(Polygonaceae)

Kukur thothne

Whole plant

Chhetri & Joshi (2002)

Persicaria glabra (Willd.) M. Gomez

de la Maza

(Polygonaceae)

Seto pire

Whole plant

Manandhar (2002)

Persicaria hydropiper (L.) Spach.

(Polygonaceae)

Pire,

Ratnaulo

Whole plant

Chhetri & Joshi (2002); Dangol (2000-2001)

Joshi & Joshi (2005a & b); Karki & Rai (1982);

Manandhar (1989, 2002); Regmi & Karna (1989);

Siwakoti & Siwakoti (2003)

Persicaria lapathifolia (L) S.F. Gray

(Polygonaceae)

Bisintilli jhar

leaf

Siwakoti et.al. (2005)

Persicaria pubescens (Bl.) Hara

(Polygonaceae)

Seto pire

Whole plant

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Persicaria viscosa (Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don.)

Nakai

(Polygonaceae)

Rato pire

Whole plant

Bhadary & Shrestha (1982, 1999);

Joshi & Joshi (2005a); Manandhar (1989)

Phyllanthus urinaria L.

(Euphorbiaceae)

Amala jhar,

Ajata,

Bhui Amala

Whole plant

Dangol (2000-2001)

Piptanthus nepalensis (Hook) D. Don.

(Fabaceae)

Suga phul,

Siksike

Bark, Leaf

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Plumeria rubra L.

(Apocynaceae)

Chuwa,

Golaichi

Bark

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Ricinus communis L.

(Euphorbiaceae)

Ander,

Andi

Leaf, Seed

Joshi & Joshi (2005a &b);

 

Rhododendron arboretum Sm.

(Ericaceae)

Lali Gurans

Young leaf

Joshi & Joshi (2005b); Manandhar (1989, 2002)

 

Rubia manjith Roxb. ex Fleming,

(Rubiaceae)

Majitho

Whole plant

Joshi & Joshi (2005a);

 

Sapium insigne (Royal)

Benth. ex Hook. F.

(Euphorbiaceae)

Khirro

Bark, leaf

Bhandary & Shrestha (1982, 1999);

Joshi & Joshi (2005a); Karki & Rai (1982);

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn.

(Sapindaceae)

Ritha

Fruit

Regmi & Karma (1989)

Schima wallichii (DC) Korth

(Theaceae)

Chilaune,

Nini

Leaf,Bark,

Fruit

Bhandary & Shrestha (1982)Joshi & Joshi

(2005a & b); Manandhae (1989, 2002);

Securinega virosa (Roxb. ex Willd.)

Baill.

(Euphorbiaceae)

Nundhiki,

Paileti

Bark

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Shorea robusta Gaertn.

(Dipterocarpaceae)

Sal

Bark

Joshi & Joshi (2005);

 

Solanum aculeatissimum Jacq.

(Solanaceae)

Bhalkanda,

Kantakari

Fruit

Joshi (1988); Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Spilanthes calva DC.

(Asteraceae)

Lato ghans

Whole plant

Manandhar (1989)

Spilanthes paniculata Wallich ex DC.

(Asteraceae)

Bhuin Timur,

Lato ghans

Whole plant

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Ulmus wallichiana Planch.

(Ulmaceae)

Dhamina

Bark, Leaf

Manandhar (2002)

Verbascum thapsus L.

(Srophulariaceae)

Guna puchhar

Whole plant

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

Xeromphis spinosa (Thunb.) Keay

(Rubiaceae)

Main phal

Bark,

Ripen fruit

Dangol and Gurung (1999),Gurung, Dangol

& Bhandary (1999); Manandhar (1989)

Zanthoxylum armatum DC

(Rutaceae)

Timur,

Bhale Timur

Bark, leaf

Joshi & Joshi (2005a); Regmi and Karna (1989);

Manandhar (1989, 2002)

 

 

Strategies for Sustainable Management

The following strategies are recommended for sustainable management of useful plant diversity.

 

1.      Inventory, Chemical Screening and Documentation of the Species

 

����������� Many parts of the biogeographical areas of the country have still remained unexplored. Hence, it is strongly recommended that major thrust should be given to an intensive inventory and documentation of piscicidal plants and their products. Emphasis should also be given to analyse chemical components of the plants and the parts which are used to stupefy fishes. A more systematic investigation of some of these plants may lead to the discovery of new economically useful products.

 

2. Documentation of Traditional information, methods and practices

 

�������� The rural people have developed unique indigenous knowledge related to the uses of plant resources due to constant association with the forests. These existing valuable information are needed to be documented before lost or disappeared. As there is lake of the documentation system, priority should be given to develop a system for the systematic recording of the information related to the ethnobotanical uses and indigenous knowledge of the species.

 

3. Conservation of useful species and their habitats

 

����������� Though forests, scrubs, grasslands and waste lands are the major habitats of the pecicidal plants, most of them appear to be restricted only to shaded forest habitats. An obvious conclusion that can be drawn from this picture is that deforestation and habitat destruction due to land use change would pose a serious threat to the species. Even without tree-removal, extensive grazing of domestic animals in the forests can be damaging to some species. When questioned about the changing status of the existing plants, our respondents listed some important species such as Coriaria nepalensis, Sapium insigne and Zanthoxylum armatum which have also declined in abundance during the last decade. The trend of decline of abundance of the useful species shows that action for conservation is urgently needed. Hence, efforts should be directed to formulate and implement appropriate strategies and programs related to the conservation and sustainable uses of these plants and their products taking consideration of the needs of the people.

 

Acknowledgements

 

����������� The authors are thankful to the inhabitants of the study areas for their kind cooperation and help during the field survey. Thanks are due to Dr. John F. Edington, University of Wales, U.K. for his guidance and encouragement, and to Dr. S. K. Jain, Founder and Ex-Director, Institute of Ethnobiology, Lucknow, India for encouragement.

 

References

 

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